Principal and Teachers Relations: Trust at the Core of School Improvement

  • Pamela R. Hallam
  • Charles Hausman
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 21)

Educational leaders and teachers face constant internal and external pressure to reform their practice to ensure that every student meets high standards. In many countries, including the United States, the last two decades have been characterized by large-scale reforms of public education systems (Fullan, 2001; Seashore-Louis, Toole, & Hargreaves, 1999; Young & Levin, 1999). According to Cranston (2007), “these reforms are due to powerful political, social, and economic shifts in the environment in which schools are nested; advances in our understanding of learning, organization and management of schools; and shifts in the expected relations between schools and clients” (p. 1). Consequently, new conceptualizations for the profession of educational leaders and teachers need to be developed (Murphy, 2002).

In light of such fundamental shifts in the landscape of schooling, many researchers contend that the relationships between stakeholders are pivotal to the success or failure of school reform (Bryk & Schneider, 2002). Clearly, in this era of accountability and the pressures that accompany it, there is a premium placed on the interpersonal skills of school leaders. This chapter focuses on one key element that is central to productive relationships between principals and teachers. Specifically, this chapter explores how trust can facilitate school leaders, working in tandem with teachers, to use the current accountability mandates to focus their efforts in professional learning communities to improve organizational practices and student outcomes.


School Reform School Improvement Educational Leader Relational Trust Professional Learning Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela R. Hallam
    • 1
  • Charles Hausman
    • 2
  1. 1.Educational Leadership and Foundations 306 MCKBBrigham Young UniversityProvo84602
  2. 2.Educational Leadership StudiesUniversity of KentuckyLexington

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